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Watch: Sandstorm over 100 meters high swallows city in China near Gobi desert

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A wall of sand over 100 meters high swallowed a city on the fringes of the Gobi desert in northwestern China, in scenes reminiscent of a disaster film.

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Dunhuang, a tourist draw with a colorful history as a Silk Road outpost, momentarily disappeared in the dust clouds as the storm hit on Sunday.

A resident surnamed Zhang told local media Jimu News that the sandstorm came abruptly and swept through the city in five or six minutes.

This aerial photo taken on April 25, 2021 shows a sandstorm engulfing a village in Linze county, in the city of Zhangye in China's northwestern Gansu province. (AFP)
This aerial photo taken on April 25, 2021 shows a sandstorm engulfing a village in Linze county, in the city of Zhangye in China's northwestern Gansu province. (AFP)

“I couldn’t see the sun,” he said, adding that the city in Gansu province had not experienced such a sandstorm in several years.

“At first I was enveloped in the sandstorm’s yellow dust, then it turned red and finally black.”

Dunhuang is home to several major tourist attractions including the Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site with ancient Buddhist carvings and striking desert landforms.

This still grab taken on July 27, 2021 from video obtained by China's state television CCTV shows a heavy sandstorm engulfing buildings on July 25 in Dunhuang in northwest China's Gansu province. The wall of sand over 100 metres high swallowed the city on the fringes of the Gobi desert in scenes reminiscent of a disaster film. (AFP)
This still grab taken on July 27, 2021 from video obtained by China's state television CCTV shows a heavy sandstorm engulfing buildings on July 25 in Dunhuang in northwest China's Gansu province. The wall of sand over 100 metres high swallowed the city on the fringes of the Gobi desert in scenes reminiscent of a disaster film. (AFP)

Sandstorms are common in the region each spring but rare in the summer, according to state-run news agency China News Service.

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